The first director will join the Southampton Center on Feb. 1.
Michele Thompson, who has worked at the 92nd Street Y where she is Director of Adult Education and the Arts at 92Y and the former director of 92Y Tribeca, will lead the multi-disciplinary arts center at 25 Jobs Lane in Southampton Village.
“Southampton Center will be the heartbeat of the Village for years to come and will continue to be a driving force for economic and cultural growth in our community,” Southampton Village Mayor Mark Epley said in a statement.
Southampton Center launched its inaugural season of free programming this past summer, which include film screenings, visual art, live music and dance performances, as well as educational workshops and children's programs. It partnered with other organizations, like Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Hamptons International Film Festival, and Goat on a Boat Puppet Theatre, as well.
Over 10,000 people visited the center since its opening in July.
“We are thrilled to have found Michele to lead Southampton Center," Whitney Stevens, Southampton Center Board of Directors co-chair, said. “Michele’s deep knowledge and experience in building a new organization, marketing, and development will be integral to our continued success.”
Co-chair Simone Levinson said, “We are so pleased with the outcome of our search. Michele’s proven success working with local communities to build arts and cultural institutions will be invaluable to the growth of Southampton Center.”
"Southampton Center has the potential to be a real force in arts and culture on Long Island's East End as well as a warm cultural hub for the Village. I look forward to being a part of shaping this emerging institution and leading its growth,” Thompson said in a statement. “Having spent part of the last several years in the community around Little Fresh Pond, I am delighted to have the opportunity to deepen my roots as a year-round resident of the East End."
Before working at the 92Y, she was executive director of the Trisha Brown Dance Company, and also worked in development at Carnegie Hall, American Ballet Theatre, and Vanderbilt University.
Southampton Center will be holding a welcome reception for Thompson on Feb. 1 at 5 p.m.